Tesla posts $81.5 million net loss in the fourth quarter of 2011

Article by Anita Panait, on February 16, 2012

Tesla Motors Inc. posted an $81.5 million net loss for the fourth quarter of 2011, around $31.1 million higher than its $51.4 million net loss for the same period in 2010.  The company reported an 8.5% increase in revenue to $39.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 and a 75% increase in sales to $204.2 million for full year 2011.

Despite the rise in sales, Tesla still posted a $254 million net loss for full year 2011, up from a $154 million net loss in 2010. The fourth-quarter loss is marked by end of the production and sales of Tesla’s electric Roadster sports car.

There are still a few units left of this $109,000 vehicle. Tesla said in its financial report that it has ended the chassis production for the Roadster at Group Lotus Plc's Hethel, UK, plant. The company was able to sell over 2,150 Roadsters through the end of 2011, and plans to sell the remaining 330 units in Asia and Europe this year.

The company currently has no major source of revenue, aside from supplying battery packs and other parts to Toyota Motor Corp. and Daimler AG, two of its investors. The company’s latest production car, the Model S, will see assembly lines in mid-2012, and is expected to expand the company's sales volume with a base model priced at $57,400.

 In a statement, Tesla revealed that it is commencing a development program with Daimler for a new Mercedes-Benz vehicle with a full Tesla powertrain. Tesla described the project as “an increase in the scope and scale of [its] deepening relationship with Daimler.” Tesla first announced the project on Nov. 2, 2011, when it released third-quarter results, saying that it received a letter of intent from Daimler for the new vehicle project.

Ed Kim, an industry analyst at AutoPacific Inc., said that the project is probably not for a mass-scale vehicle. He, however, remarked that while Tesla's projects with Daimler and Toyota aren't large in vehicle volume, the benefit that the company’s will get by associating with the automakers “is worth a ton,” he said.

 Tesla, meanwhile, forecasts up to $600 million in full-year revenues for 2012, with around 90% of the amount expected to come in the second half as soon the company starts selling its Model S units.

Tesla plans to build as many as 20,000 units of the Model S next year, hoping that the model will help the company become profitable for the first time by as early as 2013. Tesla unveiled its Model X electric SUV concept at its own showroom last week, and at the same time began taking reservations for the vehicle.

Topics: tesla

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